ST GREGORY’S became the last local primary school to unveil a major piece of Building the Education Revolution infrastructure when it officially launched its new $3.2million school hall on Wednesday morning.
Students and staff from both campuses of the school gathered with friends and family of the St Gregory’s community to open the new multi-purpose hall, which featured a timber sports floor, acoustic panels, stage and lighting, kitchen facilities and a music room.
Parents and friends were treated to a number of songs enthusiastically delivered by the students, and Monsignor John Woods and Father Troy Bobbins blessed the hall.
Catholic Education Office director Moira Najdecki said the hall would provide benefits to the school community for years to come.
‘‘For many years this school had no assembly place large enough to accommodate students from both campuses, but the funding has provided a multipurpose hall that will do that,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s a magnificent, practical and much appreciated school hall that’s been built for the current students and for future generations.’
Local architect Andrew Collins of Collins Caddaye Architects was one of many who attended the launch, still beaming after being awarded Canberra’s most prestigious architecture award, the Canberra Medallion, for his design of the hall.
The hall also took out the Romaldo Giurgola Award for Public Architecture at the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2012 ACT Architecture Awards on Saturday night.
Jury chair Roger Pegrum said the multipurpose hall was singled out for its simplicity, practicality and elegance.
‘‘This elegant and carefully crafted multipurpose hall sits comfortably and confidently within the small grouping of the old church and the primary classrooms at the north end of the school grounds,’’ Mr Pegrum said.
‘‘Internally, the planning is wonderfully simple and all parts of the spaces are finished with imagination and fine detail. It is a pleasing urban composition in all respects, demonstrating that modesty and good manners are no impediments to a successful and clear architectural statement.’’
Architect Andrew Collins told the Queanbeyan Age his main concern was to be sympathetic to the 150-year old stone church adjacent to the hall, a building he called ‘‘one of the most beautiful old buildings in Queanbeyan.’’
‘‘It’s a modern take on the whole heritage church style, using a different construction methodology which harks back to the old church,’’ he said.
‘‘But the most important thing is you can’t have a good building without a good client, and the people here at St Greg’s have been great,’’ he said.